A great friend of mine shared a story with me the other day, I thought it may be worth passing on because I believe like he does that there is value in our program and that value starts and ends with the Scouts in it.
He had a Scout in his troop some time back that was never real happy about being in Scouting. It was something that the lads parents wanted him to be in because they saw real value in what Scouting had to offer.
Well time went on and the Scout finally drifted away from the troop. But the memories of his time in the troop were not all that fond. The Scouts of the troop remembered him as disruptive and grumpy. Rarely did he shoulder his share of the tasks on camp outs and when he did make it to meetings, he was late.
A few years had past since he departed the troop and one morning my friend saw an article in the newspaper about a tragic crime that had been committed in our town. A burglary that resulted in some violence. The person that had committed the crime was sentenced and would be spending the better part of 15 years in prison. That person was the Scout in my friends troop. The Scout that did not want to be there, that was disruptive and mean.
At first my buddy thought that he should just keep it to himself, but then realized that he was not the only one that read the paper. Perhaps some of his Scouts had seen the article and would ask if he knew anything more.
So at the next troop meeting my buddy, during his Scoutmaster Minute, told the story, but he started it like this.
You boys all know that we Adult leaders love to hear about your successes. We cherish the time we spend with you teaching you and guiding you. We try our best to develop in you Character, and Citizenship. I like to follow your success and see what you have made of yourself once you leave Scouting, in fact I keep a scrap book of articles, pictures, and other things that show what you all, individually, has done with your lives.
Some of you may have heard about a former Scout that is now in prison. This makes my heart hurt. This boy did not get the benefit of the Scouting program because he did not open up to it. He never wanted to be here and therefore missed out on the many opportunities and adventures. He missed out on the development that would have led him down better trails in life. It saddens me.
I want to see all of you become successful, what ever that is in your life, and know that as you get older and move away from Scouting, you will always be one of my Scouts and I will cherish the memories that we have had together.
My buddy is a great Scoutmaster, he truly cares and loves for each of his Scouts. I learn a lot from him and we share ideas all the time. We run our troops differently, but the principles and values do not change, neither does the fact that we love Scouting and the Scouts in it.
We understand the value of Scouting and what it can do for these young men.
Have a Great Scouting Day!